Massone Gavi Masera Table Wine Asheville

Quintessential Summer White Wine – 2016 Massone Gavi Vigneto Masera

The 2016 Massone Gavi “Vigneto Masera” is the quintessential summer white wine and one of my new favorites.  Whether you are a fan of Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or Chardonnay, you have to try this wine. From the southern part of Italy’s Piemonte region, Gavi is one of the most beloved whites of the region.  Composed entirely of the native Cortese grape, this is one of the prettiest and purest whites I’ve tasted in a long time.  Flowing with lovely notes of Asian pear, pineapple, green fig, white flowers, and spicy mineral, this crisp and clean white wine is the perfect beach companion.  It’s the new Wine of the Week and you should buy some.  Here’s the deal:

2016 Massone Gavi “Vigneto Masera” – On Sale Through Saturday, July 15th

Regular Price: $13.99/bottle

Sale Price: $10.99/bottle on your solid 6-pack or more — Over 20% off!!!

Gavi often gets a bad rap and deservedly so.  Why?  Because the majority of the Gavi that makes it to the US is washed out and flavorless.  The Cortese grape is known for producing high yields so careful vineyard management is required to produce flavorful wines.  And Stefano Massone, who grew up in the region and followed in his father’s footsteps, is a master with the varietal.  He only makes Gavi, and he is highly skilled in the vineyard and in the cellar.  The Masera vineyard is a single plot of Cortese that was planted back in 1978.  Today, these old vines produce low yields and low yields result in intensely flavored grapes.

Stefano Massone in his vineyards in Gavi.

Fermented in stainless steel and aged on its lies for 3 months, this one explodes out of the glass with beautiful aromas of exotic fruits, spring flowers, and mellow minerality.  On the palate, it is crisp, but not too acidic, with flavors that mimic the nose.  For years, this has been one of the most popular white wines at restaurants in Genoa to serve with fresh seafood caught off the Ligurian coast.  I can see why!  The wine’s natural acidity and freshness make it a natural partner for all sorts of fish and seafood, but I also love it with summer vegetables and salads.  I also find it to be quite pleasing as an aperitif.

Words can only do this wine so much justice.  Stop by and try it whenever you have time — we’ll have it open for you to try before you buy.  Otherwise, you can simply email me at, and I’ll be glad to set some aside for you.  Cheers and happy drinking and eating in Asheville this summer!

Josh Spurling
Owner/Operator at Table Wine


Banshee and Lafage Wine Tasting at Table Wine in Asheville North Carolina.

Free on Fridays Wine Tasting – Domaine Lafage and Banshee Wines

Friday, June 30th from 4-7 p.m. – Get your weekend off to a good start with the best free wine tasting in Asheville!  This week, Mike Kolker of Freedom Beverage Co. joins us to pour the awesome wines of France’s Domaine Lafage and  California’s Banshee.

If you’ve been shopping at Table Wine for any amount of time, you know the wines of Lafage and Banshee, and most likely you love them.  They are great wines at great prices made by great people.  Join us as we pour you a sampling of wines from these all-star producers.  Up first, it’s Jean-Marc Lafage’s Miraflors Blanc, a white blend that smells and tastes of sunny days and flowers.  After that, it’s Jean-Marc’s dry rosé, a perennial best seller and a candidate for the best looking bottle of wine on the market.  Next, we’ll move into the Banshee zone with a pair of reds from this Healdsburg-based winery.  First up is the 2014 Pinot Noir — the favorable conditions of the vintage and the expert winemaking of Ross Cobb resulted in a stunning value in Sonoma County Pinot Noir.  We’ll finish with their Mordecai, a big and boisterous red blend composed of several different grapes from various parts of the state.  It’s gonna’ be fun and it’s gonna’ be tasty.  Stop by, taste, learn and save big on all of the featured tasting wines.

All of the featured tasting wines are on sale the day of the tasting: take 10% off if you mix any 3, 15% off if you mix any 6, or 20% off if you mix any 12.

1. 2015 Domaine Lafage Miraflors Blanc (Roussillon, France) – Talk about a fun and exotic white wine.  Composed of Vermentino, Vigonier, Muscat, Grenache Blanc and a few others, it is dry, but tender, and laced with lovely notes of ripe lemon, white peach, spring flowers and herbs.  
Tasting Price: $15.29 in mixed 3-packs | $14.44 in mixed 6-packs | $13.59 in mixed cases

2. 2016 Domaine Lafage Miraflors Rose (Roussillon, France) – This is a stellar value in first class dry rose.  Jean-Marc Lafage crafts this one from blend of 80 year old Grenache Gris and younger vine Mourvedre.  The result is a wine flowing with ripe and creamy red fruits, white peach, and spring flowers.  Even better, it’s on sale!
Tasting Price: $16.19 in mixed 3-packs | $15.29 in mixed 6-packs | $14.39 in mixed cases

3. 2014 Banshee Pinot Noir (Sonoma County, California) – I had a bottle of this recently and was amazed at the quality for the price ratio.  Tasting like Pinots that often sell for $50+, this one is always good, but the 2014 is great.  Medium bodied, silky, complex and possessing gobs of ripe red fruits, exotic spices, and rooty, earthy nuances, it is a wonderful Pinot at a wonderful price.
Tasting Price: $24.29 in mixed 3-packs | $22.94 in mixed six packs | $21.59 in mixed cases

4. 2014 Banshee Mordecai (Various Regions, California) – 35% Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa, Sonoma), 28% Syrah (Anderson Valley, Sonoma), 22% Zinfandel (Dry Creek, Russian River), 6% Merlot (Alexander Valley), 4% Carignan (Mendocino), 3% Cabernet Franc (Sonoma), 2% Cinsault (Sonoma).  Is that enough grapes for you?  Aged for 15 months in French oak (new and used), the resulting wine is reminiscent of a good Cotes du Rhone meets Priorat.
Tasting Price: $19.79 in mixed 3-packs | $18.69 in mixed six packs | $17.59 in mixed cases

Josh Spurling
Owner/Operator at Table Wine

Great European Wine Tasting at Table Wine in Asheville, North Carolina.

Go-To European Wines – Try 3 For Free Wine Tasting

Saturday, July 1 from 2-5 p.m. – Stop by the store this Saturday for our free wine tasting featuring some great, go-to European wines. I’m talking about affordable, delicious wines perfect for your Fourth of July celebrations.  

I can’t believe the Fourth of July is almost here!  The summer is flying by, and we’re busier than ever.  Thanks folks!  With the holiday just a few days away, we’re going to pour you some great wines to enjoy while you’re cooking out and enjoying time with friends and family.  Up first, it’s one of my new favorite pink fizzy wines.  The Venturini Baldini Lambrusco is cheap, it’s delicious, and it’s refreshing.  After that, it’s a pure Garnacha from Spain’s Aragon region. This region in Northeastern Spain is where the grape comes from, and this wine is seriously delicious………and less than $10!  To finish, it’s a super duper red blend put together by Kermit Lynch, one of our favorite importers.  Mainly Syrah and Grenache, it is a fabulous red to serve with just about any sort of grilled meat.

All of the featured tasting wines are on sale the day of the tasting: take 10% off if you mix any 3, 15% off if you mix any 6, or 20% off if you mix any 12.

1. NV Venturini Baldini Lambrusco Rosato “Cadelvento” (Emilia-Romagna, Italy) – Lambrusco has made a huge comeback and I attribute that to quality producers like Venturini Baldini.  Since 1976, they have made Lambrusco their focus and their wines are affordable and delicious.  Their Rosato is the perfect start to a great evening with friends and family.  Dry, sparkling, clean and delicious.
Tasting Price: $9.89 in mixed 3-packs | $9.34 in mixed 6-packs | $8.79 in mixed cases

2. 2016 Gerberas Garnacha (Aragon, Spain) – I was blown away by this wine when I tasted it a couple of weeks ago.  Good thing I ordered 10 cases as it sold out in less than 2 hours.  Pure Garnacha from 30 year old vines, it is fermented in stainless steel.  The resulting wine is fat, plush, juicy and delicious. Need a wine for burgers and hot dogs or bbq?  This is it!
Tasting Price: $8.99 in mixed 3-packs | $8.49 in mixed 6-packs | $7.99 in mixed cases

3. 2015 Kermit Lynch Languedoc Rouge (Languedoc, France) – God bless America and God bless Kermit Lynch.  For nearly 50 years, he has brought us a taste of real, authentic French wines, and he’s done it again.  This custom-made blend is composed of 60% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 5% each Carignan and Cinsault.  Fermented in stainless steel and aged in a combination of cement and foudre, it is just simply delicious.  Words don’t do it justice — stop by and taste it.
Tasting Price: $12.59 in mixed 3-packs | $11.89 in mixed six packs | $11.19 in mixed cases

Josh Spurling
Owner/Operator at Table Wine

Kermit Lynch Wine Dinner at Local Provisions in conjunction with the Asheville Yoga Festival.

Kermit Lynch Wine Dinner at Local Provisions

Thursday, July 27th at 6:30 pm at Local Provisions in conjunction with the Asheville Yoga Festival – Kermit Lynch Wine Dinner featuring 5 courses of locally sourced, seasonal fare and French wines from famed importer Kermit Lynch.  $100/person all inclusive (tax and tip included).  Click here to make your reservations today — this link will redirect you to Eventbrite where you can purchase tickets.  Once there, simply click the green “Tickets” button and then scroll down to the Farm to Table Wine Dinner and enter the number of tickets you’d like.  Please note that the sparkling wine reception starts at 6:30 pm — please plan to arrive no earlier than 6:30 as we will be setting up the dining room.  Thanks for your understanding.

I’m super excited to work with the fine folks at the Asheville Yoga Festival (July 27-30), with local restaurant Local Provisions, and with the wines of famed importer Kermit Lynch for a Farm to Table Wine Dinner.  The dinner is not limited to Asheville Yoga Festival attendees and includes 5 courses made with locally sourced ingredients paired with some of Kermit Lynch’s finest organic wines.  Just as Yoga increases your connection to your body and senses, this dinner will connect you to small family farms and growers/producers near and far.  Chef Justin Burdett will create dishes from the bounty of high quality ingredients from the best local farms and myself and Richard McKinney of Tryon Distributing will select wines from the small grower/producer driven portfolio of Kermit Lynch.

Being that Chef Justin only buys what is fresh and in season, the menu and the wines will be announced closer to the date of the dinner.  At just $100 all inclusive, this is a great deal and you will leave nourished, satiated, and happy!  Trust me, it’s going to be great.  If you have any food allergies or restrictions, please call the restaurant at least a week before the dinner at 828.424.7815 and Local Provisions will offer delicious alternatives.  Cheers and we hope to see you for this incredible night of wine and food.

Josh Spurling
Owner/Operator at Table Wine
1550 Hendersonville Road, Suite #102
Asheville, NC 28803

Chantepierre Cotes du Rhone

Serious Cotes du Rhone Value – Domaine de Chantepierre

The 2016 Domaine de Chantepierre is a serious Cotes du Rhone Value and one of the best red wine deals I’ve encountered this year!  I tasted this one with Henri Gabriel, owner Advintage Distributing, about a month ago while in Charleston.  From the first sniff, I knew I was going to buy this wine.  Why?  Because it literally lit up every olfactory receptor in my being. Lovely warm and ripe berry fruits, a whiff of pepper and herbes de Provence just exploded out of the glass.  I took a sip.  Wow!  Concentrated and mouth-filling, yet supple and soft, I knew I had found the new Case of the Month.  It’s the 2016 Domaine de Chantepierre Cotes du Rhone Rouge, it is scrumptious, and it can be yours for less than $10/bottle!  Join us this Saturday, June 24th any time between 2-5 p.m. to taste this one along with 9 other wines at our Super Saturday Wine Tasting!  Here’s the deal:

2016 Domaine de Chantepierre Cotes du Rhone Rouge – On Sale Through Saturday, July 22nd

Regular Price: $12.99/bottle

Sale Price: $9.99/bottle on your solid case — Over 20% off!!!

If you know me, you know I love me some Cotes du Rhone and this is one of the best I’ve ever found for the money.  One of the most versatile red wines out there, it’s ideal for sipping solo or for pairing with all sorts of different dishes.  From grilled meats and stews to burgers and sausages, it just makes everything taste better.  A classic blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre, this one is fermented entirely in stainless steel to preserve purity and freshness. Upon pouring, the wine shows a nice deep color and the nose is rich and decadent with notes of kirsch, cassis, plum, spice and rosemary.  The palates shows a similar flavor profile, but it’s the texture of the wine that most impressed me.  Possessing ripe and fine grained tannin and relatively low acidity, this Cote du Rhone value glides across the palate seamlessly.

Oh yeah, what about the producer Josh?  In case you didn’t know, we specialize in wines from family-run wineries, and this is certainly one of those.  Domaine de Chantepierre has belonged to Christian Paly’s family for over 500 years!  That’s all?  In all seriousness, this passing down of the land and the vineyards from generation to generation is the primary reason that this estate makes consistently great wines.  The family knows the land, the grapes, the climate, and how to overcome the many challenges encountered by grape farmers.  They certainly figured it out in this vintage!

That’a about all I’ve got to say about this one.  One more reminder — stop by this Saturday any time between 2-5 p.m. and try this stuff.  Hopefully, you’ll be as blown away as me!  Can’t make it, but want to buy some because you trust me?  Just stop by the store or email me at  Cheers and happy drinking and eating in Asheville.

Josh Spurling
Owner/Operator at Table Wine

Super Saturday Wine Tasting at Table Wine in Asheville, North Carolina.

Summer Wine Showcase – Super Saturday Wine Tasting

Saturday, June 24th from 2-5 pm – For our next Super Saturday Wine Tasting, it’s a Summer Wine Showcase with Sara Helmkamp and Aldo Morales of Advintage Distributing!  Help us welcome the summer season with a big tasting starring 10 awesome wines from all parts of the globe.  Just $5 to try all of the wines or it’s free if you’re a Grape Nut!

Lynn and I recently headed south to Charleston to pay a visit to one of our favorite suppliers, distributors, and importers.  Advintage Distributing was started in 2003 by the passionate Henri Gabriel, a super cool dude who loves wine just as much as I do.  He has truly built a very special portfolio of wines, and he treated us to a wonderful tasting at their temperature controlled, state of the art warehouse.  I returned to Asheville pumped about the new wines I tasted, and I can’t wait to share them with you.  We’ll be pouring quite the smorgasbord of wines — from crisp summer whites and an epic dry rosé to one of the best Cotes du Rhone deals of all time, this promises to be one of the best tastings of the summer.  Oh yeah, we’re also pouring a really special treat in the form of Wine #10 — it’s one of California’s top names in Red Zinfandel…….trust me, you don’t want to miss this tasting!

Super Saturday Wine Tasting Advintage Distributing Table Wine Asheville North Carolina

Get your summer off to a good start with a tasting featuring some of my top new finds of the season!  Check out the list below, and I think you’ll agree that this is an adventurous and epic tasting that is not to be missed.  Stop by, taste, learn, stock up and save big on a bevy of perfect summer wines.  No RSVP is required and you do not have to be a Grape Nut to attend — just pay $5 before you begin the tasting and have a great time.

The Wines
Save big on all of the tasting wines!  Mix any 3 of them and save 10%, mix any 6 and save 15%, or mix any 12 and save 20%!

1. 2016 Jean Perrier et Fils Jacquere “Cuvée” Gastronomie” (Savoie, France)

2. 2016 Massone Gavi “Vigneto Masera” (Piemonte, Italy)

3. 2015 Single Post Riesling (Mosel, Germany)

4. 2013 Elyse L’Ingenue White Blend (Sierra Foothills, California)

5. 2016 Domaine Montrose Rosé (Languedoc, France)

6. 2015 Soldier’s Block Shiraz (Langhorne Creek, Australia)

7. 2016 Domaine de Chantepierre Cotes du Rhone Rouge (Southern Rhone Valley, France)

8. 2015 M. Chapoutier Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon Villages Rouge (Roussillon, France)

9. 2014 Bench Cabernet Sauvignon (Knights Valley, California)

10. Surprise Wine – It’s epic, it’s one of California’s top names in Zinfandel, and we’re pouring it.  That’s all we’re saying.

Buy Pullus Halozan at Table Wine in Asheville, North Carolina.

Most Dangerous White Wine on the Planet – 2016 Pullus Halozan

The 2016 Pullus Halozan is the most dangerous white wine on the planet!  No, it won’t poison you if you don’t drink it at the right temperature and there are no hazardous chemicals contained within.  The only “issue” with the wine is that once it’s opened, it’s nearly impossible to stop drinking it.  I’m not kidding.  I predict that this dry, liter-bottled, Slovenian field blend will be our best selling white wine of the spring and summer.  It’s our new Wine of the Week, it’s delicious, and you are invited to stop by and try it this Saturday, June 10th (2-5 pm).  Here’s the deal:

2016 Pullus Halozan – On Sale Through Saturday, June 24th

Regular Price: $15.99/bottle

Sale Price: $13.99/bottle or $12.49/bottle on your solid 6-pack

Let me start my quelling your fears and uncertainties about Slovenian wine.  Wine has been produced here for thousand of years.  In fact, Pullus was started in 1239!  Just across the border from Friuli, one of Italy’s top white wine zones, Slovenia enjoys a similar climate and geography that favors the production of high quality white wines.  And this is certainly high quality white wine.  Whether you are a fan of Pinot Grigio, Gruner Veltliner, or drier styled Rieslings, the Pullus Halozan is going to float your boat.

In terms of technical notes, Pullus Halozan is a blend of 8 different grape varieties — for those interested, they are Sauvignon Blanc, Welschriesling, Riesling, Furmint, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Muscat. Each grape is fermented separately in stainless steel, and the cellar master then blends the finished wines together each year to create a consistent style.  Packed with aromas of ripe pear, apple, citrus and white flowers, I could smell it for days.  On the palate, the overt, pure fruit-forward style of the wine is balanced by crisp and cleansing acidity.  All in all, this is the quintessential warm weather white wine.  Heading to the beach?  Stock up.  Need a tasty, fresh, and lighter styled white for poolside sipping?  This is the one.  And last, but not least, if you need a wine for a crowd, this is my top pick.  Remember, it comes in a liter bottle so you’re getting an extra 1/3 of a bottle!

Not sure if you’ll like it?  Join us this Saturday, June 10th from 2-5 pm and give it a whirl.  Otherwise, stop by the store and pick some up or email me at and I’ll put your order together for pickup.  Cheers and happy drinking and eating in Asheville!

Josh Spurling
Owner/Operator at Table Wine

Free Lamadrid Estate Wine Tasting at Table Wine in Asheville North Carolina.

Lamadrid Estate Wines – Free on Fridays Wine Tasting

Friday, June 23rd from 4-7 p.m. – Join us as we pour you 4 splendid red wines from Argentina’s Lamadrid Estate.  Steve Nelson, formerly of The Wine Guy and Earth Fare, joins us to pour the wines and tell the stories.  Steve is now with Grapevine Distributing, and I’m very pleased to have him as my sales rep!

Lamadrid Estate is a lovely, family owned winery located in the Agrelo district of Mendoza, Argentina, long considered one of the best spots in the region for growing grapes.  Founded in 2004 by Guillermo Garcia Lamadrid, the family owns three vineyards in Agrelo: Finca La Matilde (planted 1929), Finca Lamadrid (planted 1973), and Finca La Suiza (planted 2004). Each wine comes from one of these Agrelo single vineyards and only indigenous yeasts are used, with no fining or filtration.  The winery combines a unique mix of traditional and cutting-edge winemaking.  This will be an fun, interesting, and delicious tasting as we’ll let you try both of Lamadrid’s entry level reds (Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon) as well as their Reserve wines.  Taste the wines, learn, and save big on all of the featured tasting wines.  Cheers and we hope  to see you!

All of the featured tasting wines are on sale the day of the tasting: take 10% off if you mix any 3, 15% off if you mix any 6, or 20% off if you mix any 12.

1. 2014 Lamadrid Malbec “Agrelo” (Mendoza, Argentina) – From one of their younger vineyards, don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a simple wine. Fermented in American oak and then aged for 6 months prior to bottling, it shows loads of dark and decadent fruit framed by toasty oak. Powerful, yet ripe and smooth, this is a great introduction to the house style.
Tasting Price: $15.29 in mixed 3-packs | $14.44 in mixed 6-packs | $13.59 in mixed cases

2. 2013 Lamadrid Cabernet Sauvignon “Agrelo” (Mendoza, Argentina): From the same vineyard site as wine #1, this is an impressive Cab at a great price.  Fermented in cement vats with indigenous yeasts, the wine is aged for 8 months in those same vats with oak staves added.  The resulting wine is rich, dark fruited, savory and delicious.
Tasting Price: $15.29 in mixed 3-packs | $14.44 in mixed 6-packs | $13.59 in mixed cases

3. 2014 Lamadrid Malbec “Single Vineyard Reserva” (Mendoza, Argentina) – The big difference between the entry wines and the Reserva wines is older vines and longer aging in barriques (small barrels).  Wine and Spirits named this wine their top Malbec of the year!  Rich, ripe, decadent, yet structured, this one sees 12 months aging in new and used French oak.  For those who like wines laced with rich dark fruit and toasty, spicy oak, you’ll love this one!
Tasting Price: $20.69 in mixed 3-packs | $19.54 in mixed six packs | $18.39 in mixed cases

4. 2014 Lamadrid Cabernet Sauvignon “Single Vineyard Reserva” (Mendoza, Argentina) – Like the Malbec before it, this is a BIG BOY!  From some of their oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards, the wine sees 14 months aging in French oak.  The result is a deep, rich, and pliant Cabernet Sauvignon loaded with dark berry fruit, hints of earth and spice, and plenty of roasty-toasty oak.
Tasting Price: $20.69 in mixed 3-packs | $19.54 in mixed six packs | $18.39 in mixed cases

Josh Spurling
Owner/Operator at Table Wine

Perfectly aged red wines tasting at Table Wine in Asheville, North Carolina

Perfectly Aged Red Wines – Try 3 For Free Wine Tasting

Saturday, June 17th from 2-5 p.m. – Want to try some perfectly aged red wines that won’t break the bank?  Stop by the store this Saturday to sample a trio of rare treats.  We’ll carefully pull the corks on three 10+ year old red wines, and you will experience firsthand why some choose to age their wines.  I’m talking about mature, super complex aromas and flavors as well as round and supple textures. Supplies are limited on all of these. It’s going to be fun.  Stop by!

So where did you find these perfectly aged red wines Josh?  Occasionally, our distributors discover older wines in their warehouses while doing inventory. Most of them taste…………well, old and not so good.  However, some of them taste marvelous!  They’ve benefited from the aging process and the wines are absolutely glorious.  I found three such wines just this past week, and we’re going to open them for you this Saturday to try.  Up first, it’s the 2001 Rosemount Mountain Blue Red Blend.  At one time, this was the jewel in the crown of Rosemount’s premium offerings.  Wait until you taste it!  After that, its the 2003 Cougar Crest Merlot from Washington’s Walla Walla Valley.  Rated 90 points upon release with a suggested retail of $35, this one is in a great spot right now and my pick for the perfect filet mignon red.  To finish, the 2005 Cougar Crest Syrah is fabulous!  Flowing with sumptuous aromas and flavors of dark fruit, smoked meat, and complex spice, it is simply awesome.

The Wines
I am offering some very aggressive discounts on these wines — these will move out fast!  Please note that the heightened discounts only apply to the tasting wines.

1. 2001 Rosemount Mountain Blue Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon (Mudgee, Australia) – A blend of roughly 80% Shiraz and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, this red is really peaking right now.  Aromas of peppered meat, smoke, dried blackberry lead into a palate of savory fruit, spice and herb.  Drink this one, ideally with lamb, in the next year.  When released, this wine was $50/bottle.  Check out our price!
Regular Price: $29.99/bottle
Special Tasting Price: $26.99/bottle (10% off) | $23.99 in mixed 6-packs (20% off) | $22.49 in mixed cases (25% off)

2. 2003 Cougar Crest Merlot (Walla Walla Valley, Washington): This one really surprised me.  I thought the estate’s Cabernet Sauvignon would be the hit, but it was actually my least favorite.  This one is holding up just fine — offering up plush notes of plum, milk chocolate, green olive and anise, the texture is as smooth as silk.  When released, this wine was $35/bottle.
Regular Price: $24.99/bottle
Tasting Price: $22.49/bottle (10% off) | $19.99 in mixed six packs (20% off) | $18.74 in mixed cases (25% off)

3. 2003 Cougar Crest Syrah (Walla Walla Valley, Washington) – As I said, this one was my favorite of the three by just a hair.  Syrah does incredible things if aged properly, and this one has developed nicely.  Still ripe and not showing much fading of color, it is a wine I could literally smell all day.  Savory notes of black olive, smoked meat and pepper align with ripe notes of dark berries.  Like lamb?  Here’s your wine!  Originally released at $35/bottle.
Regular Price: $24.99/bottle
Tasting Price: $22.49/bottle (10% off) | $19.99 in mixed six packs (20% off) | $18.74 in mixed cases (25% off)

Josh Spurling
Owner/Operator at Table Wine


Vallana Barbera at Table Wine in Asheville, North Carolina.

2014 Vallana Barbera – Case of the Month

Case of the Month – Ben, Will and myself were sipping on the 2014 Vallana Barbera after work recently and a really good question arose.  How is this wine less than $15?  We’re talking about one of the most historically significant names in the Alto Piemonte and a producer that Wine Spectator called one of the top 100 producers on the planet.  And we’re also talking about a wine that is absurdly delicious, and one that we all agreed could easily sell for $20+ per bottle.  We never found an answer to our original question, but we certainly found extreme enjoyment out of that bottle of wine.  I promptly contacted Jay Murrie of Piedmont Wine Imports and secured enough Vallana Barbera to make it our next Case of the Month.  You should buy some! Here’s the deal:

2014 Vallana Barbera – On sale through June 17th

Regular Price: $13.99/bottle

Sale Price: $10.99/bottle on your solid case — Over 20% off!

Vallana is the stuff of legends.  The estate as we know it today was founded in 1937, but the Vallana family name first shows up in connection to high quality winemaking in Alto Piemonte in 1787.  As Robert Parker says, these are “intense traditionally-made wines that ooze with character.”  The family’s specialty is Spanna, the local name for Nebbiolo (we’ve got that too), and these are the wines that deservedly gain all of the critical acclaim.  But they also make a small amount of Barbera.  It is not to be overlooked, and it is the least expensive way to “test drive” a Vallana wine.  It also bears the stylistic framework that marks Vallana’s wines.

Vallana Winery in Alto Piemonte.

From humble abodes come grand wines.

The vineyards of the Alto Piemonte, located north of the Langhe at the base of the Alps, are cooler and possess more acidic soils.  These conditions give the Vallana wines their acidic backbone and the structure that allows them to age gracefully for years.  The propensity to age and improve is one of the hallmark attributes of Vallana, and the tradition is carried on today by Giuseppina Vallana, together with her son Francis (a Ph.D. in Viticulture and Oenology), and her daughters Marina and Miriam.

Although their Barbera is perfect to drink young, it also has a track record for medium to long term aging.  Yes, an $11 bottle of wine that you can age!  As with all of their wines, including their more expensive offerings, all of the grapes for their Barbera are hand harvested from organically farmed vineyards.  Fermentation and aging takes place in cement vats to preserve purity and character.  And wow, does this wine have some character!  Made in a traditional, old school Piemonte style, the wine is medium bodied and refreshing, offering up lovely notes of red berries and moderately complex notes of spices and earth.  High in acidity but possessing soft tannin, this is enjoyable all year round as a stand-alone wine, but I really love the way it enhances the flavors of grilled meats, especially lamb.

What more is there to say?  Seriously folks, this is the kind of wine that makes me do what I do with such vigorous passion.  Legendary producer, clean farming and production techniques, delicious wine.  Buy some!  If you’re not sure, we invite you to stop by Saturday, May 20th (2-5pm) to give it a sniff and a sip. Email me at if you’d like me to hold some for you as this one will run out.  Cheers and happy drinking and eating in Asheville!

Josh Spurling